The weather has been lovely, warm and sunny (although we are desperate for rain) and has been busy painting and repairing.
One of the more challenging projects was to extend the shutters on the door opening onto Juliette’s Balcony.
There had originally been a door there; the former owners replaced it with a window and we replaced the window with a door. The shutters were window length, reaching just to the top of the cellar wall (like the other windows). The cellar wall extends beyond the house wall by about three inches, but the hinges are on the house walls.
He figured it out – the one on the left is done.
He’s replacing the windows on the downstairs bathroom, the glass was old and wavy.
He made a screen for our bathroom window – very much appreciated with the warm nights and the occasional mosquito… He also made one for the bedroom.
Our screens have to be removed to close the windows – thus the knobs.
Most importantly, he repaired the garden gate – making it more secure so there is (slightly) less risk of the puppies taking another turn through the sunflowers.
I say slightly because the gate still needs to be closed and latched.
In my last post I highlighted some of our favorite summer side salads.
This is a main course salad.
In order to keep our summer salads well-rounded (we believe carbs are an important part of our diet – carbs feed the brain, after all) I like to add roasted potatoes, a bit of pasta or cooked grains.
For this salad, I used my favorite: barley.
1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
1 cup chicken stock
10oz (300gr) sausages
1/2 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4oz (120gr) fresh mozzarella, small balls
2 tbs fresh, snipped basil
1 tbs fresh, snipped chives
2 tbs pesto rosso
4 tsp olive oil
Lettuce – enough for 2 main meal salads
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Put the barley and chicken stock in a small saucepan, cover and simmer until done, about 15 minutes.
Slice the pepper and red onion. Sauté in 2 tsp olive oil until tender.
Cook the sausages on barbecue grill or sauté in nonstick skillet until done, 8 – 15 minutes, depending on size. Remove and cut into 1 1/2″ (4cm) lengths.
Tear the lettuce and put into a large salad bowl along with the herbs.
To assemble: Combine the barley, pepper, onions, pesto rosso and 2 tsp olive oil.
Add the vinaigrette to the lettuce and toss well to coat.
Divide lettuce and arrange on 2 plates. Divide barley and arrange on lettuce. Top with sausages, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
3 tbs salad olive oil
Mix vinegar and mustard. Slowly add olive oil, whisking constantly.
I love summer cooking….